Kiva is a non profit organisation, based in the United States that allows people to make a loan to those folks who need financial assistance and to whom the doors of the regular financial institutions are closed. The deal is a loan is made to an individual that the lender chooses of $25 - the lender can choose more if they would like. The loan is then repaid over a series of months.
So, how does this link to Australia I hear you ask?
Kiva can be utilised by individuals and by teams. One such team is the Genealogists for Families team which is captained by a lady in Australia. See, there is a tentative link to Australia. Do not though, underestimate the power of the team or the work the team does.
The team is currently 162 members strong, (made up of genealogists and their friends and family), making a total of 444 loans to various individuals. That is a huge achievement and to recognise that achievement the team, Captained by Judy Webster was awarded the 2011 GeneaBlog Award for best new Community Project. You can read Judy's inspirational post HERE.
If you are interested you can join the team HERE and take advantage of one of the free loans that Kiva are offering. You could perhaps, do as I do, link this worth while project to honour a family event or in memory of a family member.